When it comes to rope climbs, gymnast and CrossFit Santa Cruz coach Laurie Galassi teaches two ways to wrap the feet.
The first climbing method involves wrapping one leg all the way around the rope and then stepping the other foot on top of both rope and foot.
“The higher you have your foot and the further away from you, the better,” Galassi notes, encouraging hip and knee flexion as her athlete practices wrapping and clamping.
The second method involves placing the outside of the “bottom foot” next to the rope and then wrapping the other foot around the rope to clamp it to the top of the bottom foot.
“This way, that rope will eventually run right up the front of your body and make you super balanced,” Galassi says.
She adds: “You’ve gotta pick your knee up and then wrap. So you’re in this little ball, then you have somewhere to open from.”
When done properly, the rope climb involves a strong contribution from the legs, and those with good technique will often find grip strength challenged before anything else. Legless rope climbs are another story altogether.
Video by Hollis Molloy.
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Additional reading: Macroclimbing by Greg Glassman, published Feb. 1, 2004.